Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years – USA, 2018

Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years is a 2018 American documentary film written and directed by Marcus Hearn.

“Just when you thought you knew everything about the Hammer House of Horror, along comes this terrific and insightful documentary covering those underrated Warner Bros. co-productions like Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Dracula A.D. 1972, The Satanic Rites of Dracula, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Crescendo and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires.

With rare production stills, unseen footage, access to previously unpublished archives and a guide to the original locations, the key actors, directors (Peter Sasdy, Joe Dante) and historians (Christopher Frayling, Jonathan Rigby, Denis Meikle) reveal all about this beloved British horror brand’s least explored period.”

Reviews:

“Hammer has become such an institution that many film fans probably think of it as having existed from time immemorial, but this appealing piece proves that, as with many business successes, it was a kind of odd combination of serendipity and sweat equity that built Hammer into the legend it became during the Warner Brothers years.” Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com

“Given the breadth of information and the format style – talking head, stock footage, talking head – Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros. Years does get a little repetitive, especially with the amount of films analysed. There’s not a great deal here for novice Hammer Horror viewers, it isn’t a cheat sheet to the series, it’s far too thorough for that.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News

“This is not your beginner’s Hammer Films doc – which is refreshing after the old ground has been so thoroughly tilled – and presumes quite a bit of contextualising knowledge on the part of the viewer. The thread between the films is that Hammer seemed to have an international lifeline in their relationship with Warners, but that didn’t help them get out of a slide towards inactivity … exacerbated perhaps by changes in the genre film business fomented ironically by a Warner Bros release, The Exorcist.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Chock full of interesting anecdotes, it covers a slew of Hammer productions that have long gotten short shrift from the very company that owns them. The program moves at a brisk pace with nary a dull moment. Hearn’s craft at writing and interviewing is evident in the way conversations are seamlessly blended for full impact.” Chris Workman, Rock! Shock! Pop!

Running time:

101 minutes

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Categories: 2018, documentary, Dracula, Frankenstein, Hammer, vampire

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